Wheeler Clinic News
Providing Basic Needs for Hartford Patients, Ensuring Health
December 20, 2020Providing Basic Needs for Hartford Patients, Ensuring Health.
From a grant through the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving's COVID-19 Response Fund, patients at Wheeler's Family Health & Wellness Center, a community health center at 43 Woodland Street in Hartford, have received support since July for many basic needs of wellness and healthy life.
Along with other private donated support to Wheeler, the grant, coordinated through the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut, allowed Wheeler staff to quickly and effectively help patients as situations presented in care sessions, and when patient health or safety would be negatively affected otherwise.
Since the summer, as patients demonstrated need, Wheeler staff provided gift certificates from local Hartford and regional grocery stores and takeout restaurants to help families afford food, helped to organize rides to and from treatment at Wheeler, offset rising utility costs, and provided warm blankets and clothing for patients in need.
"It's easy sometimes to feel hopeless at the vast chasm of need that we see in our state, but our donors and supporters, like the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, are making an impact every day through this support, which is changing lives and keeping Connecticut healthier," said Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, Wheeler's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are profoundly grateful for their support, and that of CHCACT, as we address the social determinants of health at the meaningful, individual ground level."
Social determinants of health, such as access to transportation, healthy food, or warm clothing, have a dramatic effect on overall wellness, particularly during the pandemic. Food insecurity, in particular, is particularly acute today; for example, the Connecticut Food bank reports Hartford has a food insecurity rate of 26%, the highest in the state.
Since its initial launch, the COVID-19 Response Fund has made more than 200 grants totaling nearly $9 million to nonprofits. Since July, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving's COVID-19 Response Fund has been focused on funding nonprofits to cover expenses needed to keep staff and clients safe during the re-opening phase of the COVID-19 crisis.
"The Hartford Foundation donors, board, and staff have been in awe of the incredible work of nonprofits and health centers such as Wheeler in responding effectively to both the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Erika Frank, senior community impact officer at the Hartford Foundation. "We are honored to be a part of the network of partners and funders supporting this critical work."
The Wheeler patients who benefited from the support routinely expressed how the grant changed and saved lives. One patient who is homeless wrote a note of thanks to his behavioral health clinician in November:
"I did not have enough clothes for winter, even a warm shirt to wear. Wheeler gave me some bus passes and a Walmart gift card that I used to get a shirt, a winter hat, and some food. I also bought a charger for my cell phone so I could call my counselor and keep my appointments. It made such a big difference for me."
Wheeler serves more than 50,000 individuals each year, in 90 percent of the state's cities and towns. While the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving grant was limited to patients in the Hartford region, Wheeler's donors support its Basic Needs Fund annually and through events, providing similar support at the organization's five community health centers across the state and its therapeutic special education day school in Plainville.
Learn more, and support, the Basic Needs Fund at Wheeler.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $785 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.
The Community Health Center Association of Connecticut (CHCACT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the clinical and administrative operations of community health centers across Connecticut. CHCACT's mission is to advance and align the work of health centers, with stakeholders, to improve the health and wellness of all. For more information, please visit www.chcact.org.
Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Centers
Wheeler's Family Health & Wellness Centers in Hartford, Bristol, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury are community health centers that provide medical and dental care for the whole family, as well as behavioral health care and referral and linkages to specialty services.
Wheeler's Health & Wellness Centers in Hartford, Bristol, and New Britain are funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Wheeler is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).
Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health insurance welcome. No patient will be denied health care services due to an individual's inability to pay for services.
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